California gurdwara granthi assaulted in apparent hate crime

An intruder at Modesto Ceres gurdwara broke windows at a granthi's home, punched him, shouted obscenities and told him to go back to his own country before fleeing

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Windows were broken and a priest was punched Thursday evening July 25, 2019 at a house on the property of the Sikh Temple on Hatch Road in Hughson, Calif. Here, from left to right- Rajmeet Grewal, Amarjit Singh and Sukhmander Brar survey the damage. JOAN BARNETT LEE
By The Modesto Bee | CALIFORNIA, US |

An intruder at the Sikh Temple Modesto Ceres broke windows late Thursday at a priest’s home on temple grounds, punched the priest, shouted obscenities and told him to go back to his own country before fleeing, according to the priest and others associated with temple.

Amarjit Singh, with the help of temple members who translated some of his comments, said he was in his bedroom about 9:30 p.m. when the glass in two bedroom windows was broken. He said he lifted the blinds of one of the windows to look out and was punched in the neck before his attacker, who he said was wearing a mask, fled.

It was “country, country, country, go back, go back, country,” he said without the help of a translator. He said his attacker also yelled obscenities at him and had something in his hand to break the windows. Singh assumes the intruder ran off in the temple’s nearby overflow, dirt parking lot.

Singh is one of two head priests at the temple, which is at Santa Fe Avenue and East Hatch Road, near Hughson. Singh’s brother, Manjit, is the other head priest.

Modesto Councilman Mani Grewal, who is a member of the temple and has served as its secretary, considers this a hate crime and said it is part of pattern going back a decade or longer of attempts to harass and intimidate temple members, though this was the worst incident.

But U.S. Rep. Josh Harder, D-Turlock, issued a statement condemning the incident and calling it a hate crime.

“I stand with my friends in the Sikh community at this terrible time,” Harder said. “Every American – regardless of faith – should be able to practice their religion freely and without fear of violence. This disgusting attack is not representative of who we are, and we must find the person responsible.”

The Central Valley has one of the largest and oldest Sikh populations in the United States. The first Sikh temple, or gurdwara, in the United States opened in Stockton more than a century ago. There are an estimated 500,000 Sikhs in the United States and 25 million worldwide making it the fifth most popular religion. It originated in the 15th century in the Punjab region of India and Pakistan.

Read full story, ‘Priest at Sikh Temple near Hughson assaulted in apparent hate crime’, at The Modesto Bee (26 July 2019), here.

 

RELATED STORY:

Sikh man attacked in ‘despicable hate crime’ in California says ‘turban saved’ him – Report (Asia Samachar, 8 Aug 2018)

 

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1 COMMENT

  1. https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2019/07/28/unanswered-questions-over-rm100-mil-funds-for-indian-community/
    P.Ramasamy, the Deputy Chief Minister of Penang strikes again at the Sikh Community of Malaysia.This time he questions in this article why do Sikh organizations need to benefit from Indian community fund. Look at the racist behaviour of this individual. Again I would like to reiterate to any Sikh in a position of influence who’s reading this,we need direct representation from the government. Hoping on other races to support us in any way is not going to work especially with such hostile people like these.Sikhs should make representation for a separate fund just for Punjabi Sikhs.Only then would we be treated fairly in this country. By begging from beggars we only get a small amount and that too causes such a hateful and hostile reaction by their so called “leader”. The Sikh community of Malaysia should be wary of this individual.

    https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2016/03/16/pheb-an-all-encompassing-body/
    In the past he has labeled Sikhs as Hindus insinuating that Sikh Gurudwaras in Penang come under the control and jurisdiction of the Penang Hindu Endownment Board(PHEB) based on an archaic obselete British Colonial law that was meant to oppress the Sikhs. Sikhs Never were and Never will be Hindus!

    I have written an email to MGC and Sikh Naujawan Sabha after the Seafield riots for them to address this issue of Radical Right Wing Hindu Extremism infiltrating Malaysian politics but these so called “Leaders” of our community couldn’t even give a reply of acknowledgement.Such is the fate of the Sikhs in this country.Led by useless spineless entities.I hope ASIA SAMACHAR can ensure that this message reaches to the right ears in our small community. I just want to highlight this issue and put it on our agenda of things to fix. What needs amending is the Archaic Penang Hindu Endownment Act. We should get all reference to Sikhs and Sikhi removed from that obselete law.In no way the Sikh community of Malaysia should acknowledge what’s written in that law.
    Secondly funding for the Punjabi Sikh community for social,religious,education and economic activities should come directly from the Government without passing any other non-Sikh entity or institution.I hope my post can start a serious discussion within our communities on these issues that need to be remedied immediately.
    Gurfateh to all.

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